Imagine you are going to a regional bluegrass festival (That would the the Tennessee Valley Old-Time Fiddlers Convention in Athens, Alabama for me). You hear some young banjo player picking out an incredible set of licks and you think to yourself “Man! I’ll never be that good!”
To put it confusingly: most of us have some experience with this, which is more than any of us would like.
Actually, I don’t think that way much at all, but on those rare occasions I just tell myself that there are two ways to approach that feeling.
1 – You can go ahead and think you’ll never be that good and let it deflate you; you stop playing for a while until you can get a new, better attitude.
2 – You can be inspired by what you have seen someone else do.
Remember that there is always going to be someone better than you at whatever the task at hand. At banjo playing, at folding the laundry… at just about everything! Perhaps it’s just a tinge of old-fashioned jealousy, but the sooner you can get over it, the better for your continued advancement. Like anger, such feeling can eat you up inside if you let them.
Also realize that you may be feeling this way because you yourself are getting better. So much so, that you now recognise exactly what the other guy is doing; you know enough about it to realize that this is something terrific going on, and you would also like to be playing it. Give yourself credit here for what you bring to the moment as an active listener. Realize that you are a lot closer to being able to play the same licks than you think.
If you are thinking of putting off practice – for a day, for a year – I hope this helps you see things as not so bad. Keep persevering and don’t give up!